News & Analysis

Birchal is launching a market to trade unlisted shares from crowdfunding campaigns

- December 3, 2019 2 MIN READ
Shebah

Women-only ridesharing app Shebah set a record for Australian crowdfunding when it raised $3 million earlier this year. 

Equity crowdfunding platform Birchal has announced plans to host a secondary market to trade unlisted crowdsource-funded (CSF) shares from next year.

Birchal has pioneered equity crowdfunding in Australia, having raised more than $16 million in 26 successful offers over the last 18 months. Its current campaigns include Listing Loop, the real estate play basketballer Andrew Bogut is backing, women’s rideshare app Shebah, which raised a record $3 million earlier this year and bar and restaurant business The Speakeasy Group, the hospitality venture behind Eau-de-vie and Mjølner.

More notoriously, Sash Global raised $184,000 on Birchal in August 2018 for a Sydney sushi-pizza restaurant that collapsed within months of opening after burning through all its cash.

 The secondary market to buy and sell unlisted shares will be called Birchal Trade. 

The plan still needs ASIC approval and will kick off with Shebah Rideshare as a pilot in early 2020. 

Birchal has applied to ASIC for relief to operate a low volume market for CSF shares, which will enable it to facilitate up to 100 transactions and $1.5m in aggregate value within a 12 month period without the need for a full markets licence, like the ASX.

Shebah is currently 98% towards its latest $500,000 target in its second Birchal CSF campaign with 9 days to go. It’s one of the few ventures to hit its target in its first round.

Birchal co-founder Matt Vitale said low-volume markets were historically used by community banks and similar entities to trade securities without the burden of a full markets licence. 

“We think using the existing legislative framework is the best first step towards providing a more comprehensive secondary market solution as the CSF industry matures in the future,” he said. 

“Liquidity for CSF shareholders has been a persistent concern since the regime began. We’re thrilled to be partnering with Shebah to pioneer a solution to this issue.”

More details on Birchal Trade will be released ahead of its launch with Shebah in 2020.

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